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Autism Case Training for CIDD/UNC-CH LEND Trainees

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Draft Agenda for Module 1 (34KB) [download]

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

The Autism Case Training (ACT): A Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum is a free curriculum offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is designed to educate future healthcare providers on fundamental components of identifying, diagnosing, and managing autism spectrum disorders through real life scenarios. It consists of seven self-standing modules that can be easily incorporated into training activities for a variety of professionals. In North Carolina, the ACT Curriculum was used to develop two presentations for our interdisciplinary LEND trainees to increase their knowledge of early warning signs of autism and autism screening, and to increase their awareness and familiarity with the ACT curriculum. To utilize the ACT curriculum, specific content was determined by the NC Act Early Ambassador and the LEND Directors; Modules 1 and 2 were scheduled for two class sessions of our year long LEND Problem-Based Learning course. In addition, a LEND trainee was selected to co-facilitate the workshop.

Preparation for the two classes was relatively easy as the ACT modules provided the case studies, suggested content and questions, and excellent video clips. The primary changes made by us were for the purpose of using the 1.5 hour class slot by adding supplemental information about autism spectrum disorders (e.g. prevalence rates, DSM-IV criteria, and ADDM information) and including some additional video clips from the ACT library. Preparatory work for the students prior to the Module 1 class included becoming familiar with the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." website and milestones expected at 24 months so that they could readily discuss typical and atypical development as part of the case study. Similarly, for Module 2, they were asked to research specific developmental and autism screening tools and to share information with classmates. During class, we included many of the worksheets, handouts, and suggested questions for both modules.

Briefly describe the positive impacts this activity has had on trainees.

The ACT modules were extremely well-received by the interdisciplinary trainees; they were impressed with the ACT curriculum, particularly the ease with which it can be used and the quality of the video clips.

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